The Best Family Attractions in Ecuador
El Telefériqo & Vulqano Park (Quito; tel. 02/3250-076): If you spend any time in Quito, and if you have kids in tow, this is a must-stop. The fast and thrilling ride up the mountain in this cable-car gondola is usually enough to put a smile on most kids' faces, and there's also an amusement park (Vulqano Park) at the base of the cable car.
Hacienda La Alegría (Aloag; tel. 02/2462-319; www.haciendalaalegria.com): This beautiful old hacienda is also a working farm. Kids can watch and even lend a hand when the cows are milked. Horseback riding is the specialty, and they have particularly good horses, trails, and trainers for introducing young riders to the sport. Their safety concern and record are exemplary.
Baños de Agua Santa: While best known as a backpacker and adventure-travel hot spot, Baños is also great for kids. Vacationing Ecuadorean families come here, and many of the hotels and resorts cater to families. Sangay Spa-Hotel (tel. 03/2740-490; www.sangayspahotel.com) has a ton of excellent facilities and activities geared towards all ages.
The Galápagos Islands: Many of the Galápagos cruise ships and tour companies offer specific family-oriented tours. There is a ton to see and do, and plenty of science, nature, and adventure to keep the whole family interested and entertained. Tauk (tel. 800/788-7885 in the U.S. and Canada; www.tauck.com) is an excellent soft-adventure company with distinctive family package tours to the Galápagos.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.